Welcome to our PhD program!
The aim of this program of studies is to fulfil the challenging demands, which constitute the doctoral level in the form of best Higher Education practice and superior quality standards. The academic purpose is to contribute to the existing knowledge and/or extending it through new discoveries, the extension of existing theories, the frameworks and scientific concepts, but it also includes research on new theory.
It is the special approach of our program to enable our students not only to award the Doctor of Philosophy , but also the Master of Research (MRes). The Master of Research can be awarded, while processing the PhD program, through the fulfilment of additional coursework and the successful defence of a research proposal.
The overall outcome of this doctoral program of studies supports Graduates in their academic and/or professional career development. This program is considered relevant, rich and academically valid. It is in line and comparable with national and international standards of Higher Education on this level of studies.
The Program provides high-quality doctoral training that enables our students and graduates to produce high quality research in their specialised fields. We ensure that you do not walk this journey alone. We provide you with academic and professional training in order to get you ready for your career.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research-based doctoral program of study, which involves taught elements. It is the highest level of degree that a student can achieve.
You will have the ability to cross the academic world with a PhD. It is an internationally recognised qualification, which allows you to pursue such job roles as researcher and academic, professorships and lecturing, consultant and subject matter expert.
The opportunity to take up independent research, through the Swiss School of Management’s Doctoral Program, is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences, we can offer you. Candidates will undertake independent and original research supervised by academic experts and research leaders.
A PhD degree is useful to develop advanced knowledge and experience in your chosen field of specialization. Researching and writing a thesis refines and cultivates your expertise and theoretical understanding within your chosen subject matter. Studying for a PhD provides you with a unique and exciting opportunity to explore a research topic in real depth.
Traditionally, a PhD involves between three to four years of study in which the student completes a significant piece of original research presented as a thesis or dissertation. On a doctoral level, it is essential that students understand the superior challenges of academic work they are expected to demonstrate and defend in their viva.
This program is suitable to applicants, who have some prior research experience, are interested in pursuing a career in research, wish to gain an internationally recognised qualification and want to enhance their employment opportunities.
Upon successful accomplishment of the program, PhD graduates will be able to produce original research or advanced program at a doctoral level. They are able to conceptualise, design and implement projects for the production of significant new knowledge and/or understanding.
As a PhD graduate, you gain the skills to create, interpret and expand knowledge which extends the importance of the chosen discipline. You will be able to spread the research findings by publishing, conducting and participating in academic journals, forum and seminars, etc.
Duration of Program
The standard period of the PhD program is three years.
Begin of Study
Enrolments are generally accepted throughout the year. Intakes will be announces on the website or by e-mail. Individual academic achievements, such as the portfolio of expertise, intensive courses and tutor coaching services, can be taken at any time.
The program of studies is aligned to international standards of Higher Education and fulfils the criteria of the process of Harmonisation of Higher Education in Europe. The full PhD program consists of three main consecutive stages: Coursework, Research Lab (Data Collection and Analysis) and the Doctoral Thesis (Write-up and Defense). Coursework consists of five taught Research Method modules, delivered in three workshops that require students’ attendance. The successful accomplishment of the first stage of the PhD program allows the candidate to enter in the Research Lab stage to collect, edit and analyse data. The third and final stage of the process of the PhD program is the write-up of your Doctoral Thesis.
Mode of Study
The PhD program is based on a research-oriented and part-time study model. On site study, web-based-learning, blended learning, distance learning are combined with work-based study, which is supported by methodical coaching or supervised by faculty and teaching staff.
Each module is assessed through one assignment. It forms a paper work addressing all the Intended Learning Outcomes of the module.
Dissertation and Viva
PhD candidates are requested to submit a doctoral thesis, which fulfils the criteria of independent research following acknowledged standards of empirical research. The thesis consists of 100,000 words (+/- 10%). The PhD candidates will defend their theses through a Viva voce.
The PhD Program structure is aligned with international standards of Postgraduate Education and, accordingly, fulfils the criteria of the process of Harmonisation of Higher Education in Europe (Bologna Process).
The first stage of the PhD program consists of coursework that gives the candidate an overview of the entire research process. The aim is to acquire fundamental research skills.
The coursework consists of five mandatory modules, which will be delivered as taught modules in three general Workshops. Each workshop typically covers one or more modules. The successful students will acquire 60 ECTS credits through the coursework.
The modules are delivered interactively and are based on actual knowledge and research in this pathway. The “Research Methods” modules are taught via lectures and/or seminars and require students’ attendance. A long-distance learning version will be introduced as alternative form of study as well.
Students, who have decided to attend also the Master of Research (MRes) pathway, have to continue with three additional optional modules (10 ECTS Credits each). If the candidate passes successfully the additional coursework, a Research Proposal is required. The Research Proposal is the final work in order to achieve the Degree of the Master of Research (MRes).
The students can move forward in the second stage, the Research Lab, after the fulfilment of all five modules. In this stage, they will collect, edit and analyse data.
The third and final stage of the process of the PhD program is the write-up. This normally requires additional analyses and the time-consuming task of presenting findings clearly and without mistakes. After six months, a draft version should be ready for submission to internal and external readers. Processing readers’ comments may take up to three months, after that a date will be set for the oral defense, the so called viva voce (VIVA).
Candidates with Master’s Degree
Candidates need to have completed a significant research project, dissertation or thesis, at university level. Candidates must own a comparable Master’s Degree; i.e., it has to be awarded by an officially acknowledged Higher Education Institution.
Graduates without a Master’s Degree are equally admitted, but they must own another similar Degree, which can be directly compared to a Postgraduate Degree, i.e. equivalent to level 7 of studies. This regulation acknowledges differences, which may internationally exist on national levels.
All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English or German are required to submit official evidence of English or German language proficiency.
Acceptance by the Department
Meeting our academic requirements does not guarantee entry. You must demonstrate an ability to research independently and possess a high level of theoretical understanding.
Acceptance is subject to staff availability for supervision. A committee decides whether your qualifications fulfil the admission requirements as a doctoral candidate. The department’s committee usually meets periodically.
SSM is a quality certified school aligned to the standard of Swiss Further Education by EduQua.
EduQua is a Public Private Partnership with international bodies, e.g. the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs for Quality Assurance in HE in Switzerland (SQS).
Certificate of Accreditation and excerpts from EduQua online database are displayed on the following pages.
1. Application and Biographical Information (Portfolio)
To apply for a PhD program, please submit the application form and provide us your biographical data. For this purpose, use the student portfolio form, which is used to assess whether an applicant is eligible for a Doctorate. In case of admission, the candidate receives a letter of acceptance. You can download the forms from our website or use the application form, which you will get at the Office of Admissions.
The Application form will ask you to provide biographical and academic information and to give details about your educational and extracurricular activities. Information must be completed with accurate dates on each entry. Please fill in the form carefully as far as you can, so that your application can be processed as soon as possible. All documents have to be submitted in an electronic version (PDF or jpg-Format) to the Office of Admissions.
2. Letter of Acceptance
SSM will notify you of the result of your application. Wait for it! In case of admission, the student receives a letter of acceptance.
3. Educational Agreement and Tuition Fees
After receiving the letter of acceptance, please fill in the educational agreement. The student receives a confirmation of enrolment and can start the educational path, as soon as the study contract is signed and submitted (an electronic version/pdf-file can be submitted via email) and the application and tuition fee are paid at least for the first semester.
4. Begin of Study
An individual study plan can be prepared or discussed with a student counsellor, during a personal meeting or a preliminary seminar at the beginning of the course.
Students must submit the following documents in either one of the following languages, English or German, in order to be enrolled into the PhD program at the University:
- Passport or ID-Card (photocopy or scan as pdf file)
- Certification from an accredited secondary school, High School diploma, VWO, Baccalauréat, Maturité Fédérale, German Abitur or equivalent
University degree certifications (Bachelor, Master etc.)
- Official Transcript of Records (educational records) / university Curriculum (a certification issued by the University / Faculty which contains all the marks that the student received for each discipline, in each semester, and the ECTS numbers for each discipline)
- Curriculum Vitae
- Evidence of English or German language proficiency (Toefl, Goethe Institute, Cambridge, or equivalent)
Please note: The original documents or original translations shall be submitted on request or have to be given to your student counsellor.
Documents in other languages must be translated into one of the aforementioned languages and legalized by a public notary in the country of origin.
If necessary, school and university certifications and documents are required in certified form (Apostille), plus the following:
- Passport photography (jpg or other file format)
- A non-refundable application fee
- Application form Portfolio – dated and signed in original (available on our website or at the Office of Admissions)
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
The program consists of three main consecutive stages: Coursework, Research Lab (Data Collection and Analysis) and the Doctoral Thesis (Write-up and Defense). Coursework consists of five taught Research Method modules, delivered in three workshops requiring students’ attendance. The successful accomplishment of the first stage allows the candidate to enter in the Research Lab stage to collect, edit and analyse data. The third and final stage of the process of the PhD program is the write-up of your Doctoral Thesis.
60 ECTS Credits by coursework
|Begin of Study||
Enrolments are generally accepted throughout the year. Intakes will be announces on the website or by email.
|Duration of Programme||
3 Years / 6 Semester.
Completed Master’s degree (or equivalent); evidence of English and/or German language proficiency.
The PhD program will expand your professional skills as well as practical experience in your company.
A higher level of education makes you essential as an employee and opens doors for new challenges and tasks. In addition, you consolidate your, so-called, market value, which usually entails better financial benefits.
Embedded in the realities of global business, the PhD provides you knowledge, real-world skills, and business and management practice. It is also about your potential – it will develop your skills, enhance your career opportunities and expand your professional networks. Whether you are seeking promotion or looking for a new career direction, a PhD demonstrates that you are an aspiring employee who is prepared to invest in your career.
Getting a higher salary after graduation, holding a top management position or even becoming your own boss are just a few of the extra advantages of the PhD.
The tuition fee for the Doctorate program is Euro 30,000.
The tuition fees can be paid in instalments, in accordance with a step-by-step plan consisting of 20 steps that will give structure to your study. Broadly speaking, candidates are expected to pay in three instalments as shown below:
- Application fee: € 200.-
- Enrolment fee: € 10,000.- (before starting the program)
- First Instalment: € 10,000.- (at the beginning of the second academic year)
- Second Instalment: € 10,000.- (at the beginning of the third academic year)
Application have to be sent
to the following address:
Swiss School of Management
University of Washington Rome Center
Piazza del Biscione 95
00186 Rome, Italy
Phone: +39 06 4004 93 20